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A palette is a group of form fields which are required to edit a record. A palette typically does not include all columns of a table but only the ones that belong to a particular module or content element. Palettes can change dynamically depending on the user's permissions or type of element and certain subparts of the form (called subpalettes) can be loaded interactively via Ajax.

Defining groups

A palette is a string of field names which are concatenated with either a semicolon (;) or a comma (,). Whereas the comma is just used to separate the field names, the semicolon indicates the beginning of a new fieldset, which can be expanded and collapsed.

The above example is defined by the following code:


The title_legend and date_legend placeholders will be replaced with the corresponding labels from the "TL_LANG" array.

$GLOBALS['TL_LANG']['tl_news']['title_legend'] = 'Title and author';
$GLOBALS['TL_LANG']['tl_news']['date_legend']  = 'Date and time';

Arranging fields

The Contao back end uses a simple two-column grid system to arrange input fields within their groups. You can apply the following CSS classes in the evaluation section of the Data Container Array as tl_class (e.g. 'tl_class'=>'w50 wizard').

tl_class Description
w50 Set the field width to 50% and float it (float:left).
clr Clear all floats (clear:both).
wizard Shorten the input field so there is enough room for the wizard button (e.g. date picker fields).
long Make the text input field span two columns.
m12 Add a 12 pixels top margin to the element (used for single checkboxes).